I’ve been on WordPress for about 5 months now and I have yet to do a Daily Prompt.
The one I saw today caught my eye.
Tell us a moment or an incident that you treasure – not necessarily because it brought you happiness, but because it taught you something about yourself.
When I read the prompt only one thing popped into my head in reference to having learned something about myself.
There are a numerous amount of things I’ve learned after becoming a mother. Not just from being A mother, but from being a SINGLE mother. Even though that isn’t one isolated incident, as the prompt suggests, the experience, so far, has taught me a lot and I treasure everything about being a mother and what I have learned, no matter how much the roller coaster of it makes me sick.
Now, I am not implying that I’m better than any other mother as a single mother. However, I will admit, it is probably harder being a single mother than a mother with the other parent in the picture, in general.
How has being a mother taught me things about myself?
Every woman’s motherhood journey is different. This is mine.
I became a “sharing” single mother 2 months after giving birth and separating from my husband. By “sharing” I mean that my ex husband would take our son on the weekends, leaving me time to be kid free for a little while.
However, I became a FULL ON single mother when my son was 1. That was when my ex husband went to court and told the judge he no longer wanted to see or have anything to do with me or his son. Yeah, he was the douchiest of douche bags that ever douched.
BUT this is not about my angst towards that man.
This is about what being a mother, single mother and full time single mother has taught me.
Well, look at that, I actually have P-A-T-I-E-N-C-E!
Yup, folks, in my younger days I was the most impatient person on the planet. I had little tolerance for those who took long or just plain annoyed me. I would speak out when someone annoyed me and speak out loudly. This quality trait of mine was not a nuisance to others, at least I don’t think. I would just tend to go from 0 to DRAMA in 2.5 seconds.
Now, aging may have something to do with getting a grasp on patience but being a mother sure has helped. Drama is null and void to me. Granted, I am human and darn it being human is hard! So I will admit in the almost 10 years of being a mother, I have exploded maybe once or twice when I’ve told The Boy for the 50th time to get his shoes on! In that case, I am mostly done with just hearing my own voice nag at him to do something over and over. But for the most part, when that does happen I feel like a sack of guilt and grasp my patience once again.
It has been a tough road because I can’t just say something like “wait until your father gets home” and just let him deal with it. I have to be the father and mother, the disciplinary and the “fun” parent. Patience seemed to just come with the territory and I learned to harness its power.
You have 2.5 minutes to shower, GO!
This may not fall under the “being a single mother category” but more of the “being a mother, period” category.
This may seem minuscule but it is something that stood out for me. In my youth and my life before my child, I would take 20 minute showers. The one thing I’ve noticed looking back over the past 10 years is that my showers went down from 20 minutes to no longer than 3-5 minutes, if that long. It is really hard to bask in the warm water when you have a kid hanging around the other side of the bathroom door wanting you to make him food or get him this certain toy or who just wants to talk to you through a solid door for no reason. This also happens when trying to be in the bathroom at all. No more “thinking” in the bathroom…. you get in there, do your stuff then leave.
Add a cat meowing for his Guardian to remove herself from that terrible thing called “water” and it’s enough to make me just wash enough to not turn others away and get out.
Leave in conditioner? Bubble Bath? Scented bath oils? What are those?
It actually has gotten better as The Boy’s gotten older and a bit more independent and I’ve learned to just adapt and accept.
I CAN do this!
Yes, yes I CAN! Even if people say I can’t, I won’t believe them! I’ve learned that hey…I am achieving something absolutely marvelous. I’m molding and framing another human being into a kind, humane and generous person (hopefully) yet someone who will stand up for what is right and show respect when it is due and who will not be phoning me at 3 am from the local jail claiming it wasn’t his fault.
I have had to fight a lot of his father’s genetics but since he has never seen him or interacted with him, The Boy tends to show more humanity than his father ever possessed. That is what is important to me.
I’ve also learned that I can care, cook for, clean, clothe and house another human being, on my own with very little help (the help I do get from my family is small but it is help all the same).
These points just barely scratch the surface on what I’ve learned from being a mother. There are many little things I’ve learned. For instance, my fear of spiders will never outweigh my anger towards one that is about to crawl on my baby boy. Or that my fear to speak up suddenly disappeared when I had to defend my child or come to his rescue. Also, I learned that when I do have a night off from mothering, I feel bizarre, like I’m missing my right arm. For almost 10 years, I have known nothing else but having a small human by my side 24/7. When he is not near me my brain goes into a “does not compute” mode.
But most of all, no matter where my life leads me, I learned that I CAN take care of another life and even more extraordinary, I can do it on my own!
So VIVA LA SINGLE MOMS! Raise your hands high like the ceiling can’t hold us! You deserve all the praise and glory.
Then, yay for mom’s in general!
Then, yay for dads as well! For as Yoda would have told me: “For your son, a good father, you did not choose.” So more power to the awesome dads!